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How Do You Test for Radon in Your Home?

If you’re concerned about the radon levels in your home, radon testing is the best way to accurately diagnose your family’s radon exposure. Even though the gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless, a radon test will still be able to measure its presence in your home. These tests are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased from your local home store.

Because radon levels may fluctuate based on precipitation, barometric pressure and other weather conditions, radon testing is often done two ways: short-term testing and long-term testing. Both tests use radon detectors to measure the radon in the air in picoCuries per liter of air (pCi/L).

Short-term radon detectors will measure your home’s radon levels between two and 90 days depending on the detector you use. Short-term radon detectors are sometimes referred to “alpha track,” “charcoal canisters,” “charcoal liquid scintillation,” “continuous monitors” or “electret ion chambers.” Test kits are also available to test the radon levels in your home’s water – a good idea if your water comes from a well.

Long-term detectors will measure your home’s radon levels for a period of more than 90 days. Either form of radon detector will work, but long-term detectors offer a better picture of your home’s average radon level because they will gather data as the weather fluctuates. “Alpha track” and “electret” detectors are popular options for long-term tests.

If you’re concerned about the radon levels in your home, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you start with a short-term test. If this test returns a result of four pCi/L or higher, you should follow up with a second short-term test or a long-term test to verify the result. The higher the results of your initial test, the greater the potential threat and the more important it is to take a second short-term test rather than wait for the results of a long-term test.

If your second test still returns a result higher than four pCi/L, you should take immediate action to rectify the problem. In the next and final post, you’ll learn what you should do if radon is detected in your home.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.